Millions have turned to Universal Credit as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic worsens, but the system has been widely criticised for not providing families with enough to live on and forcing many into debt as they wait to receive support.
Dozens of businesses and social enterprises have vowed to provide food to children where the government won’t, many of which Rashford shared on his Twitter account.
“It really does take a village to raise a child,” wrote The Whitley Bait Sandwich and Coffee Bar in Whitley Bay on Facebook. “So that’s why we will provide a free packed lunch to any child who needs it, at any time.
“If you could benefit from this please reach out to us, your request will never be met with questions or judgement.”
And the Pabna Indian restaurant in Leek, near Stoke-on-Trent, wrote: “We are now a solid seven months into this pandemic and the country has officially been put into recession.
“If anyone is not working, not getting paid, has had their hours cut and runs out of food or necessities, or times are just tough, please don’t you or your kids go to sleep on an empty stomach. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to send us a private message. We will do anything we can to help.
“It may simply be a case of dropping off a food parcel and leaving. No one has to know and where others are concerned, it never happened.”
❤️❤️❤️We are now a solid 7 months into this pandemic and the country has officially been put into recession. If anyone…
Posted by Pabna Restaurant on Wednesday, 21 October 2020
Local councils including Liverpool, Doncaster, and Redbridge, as well as the London borough councils for Southwark and Hammersmith and Fulham, have also promised to provide meals to those in need.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson wrote on Twitter: “Families are struggling more than ever to make ends meet. No child should have to go hungry and in Liverpool we won’t let them.
“Thanks for your hard work and campaigning @MarcusRashford.”
Rashford shared dozens of the messages with his 3.4 million followers on Twitter.
After the vote was rejected late on October 21, Rashford called on the Prime Minister to sit down with his campaign team and find a way to fight child food poverty in the UK.
“These children are the future of this country,” Rashford continued. “They are not just another statistic. And for as long as they don’t have a voice, they will have mine. You have my word on that.”
Image credit: US Department of Agriculture/Flickr